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Qtel tackles health issues

Healthcare was one of those topics that was high on the agenda in Barcelona last week, with Middle Eastern carrier Qtel joining the throng with its own initiative.

Under a strategic partnership with mobile healthcare applications developer the Mobile Health Company, Qtel will debut a suite of offerings across its footprint in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

The Middle East has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world, with the World Health Organisation predicting that the number of diabetes patients in the MENA region will reach 51.7 million by 2030.

Qtel’s initiative will seek to educate customers, giving them advice and information on diet and exercise as well as consultation via private mhealth accounts. The offerings will be targeted targeting customers at rural and remote communities with limited access to conventional health services as well as urban areas.

Nasser Marafih, group CEO of Qtel said: “Mobile health technology provides us with the opportunity to deliver personalized, highly-relevant health content and applications in partnership with health professionals and experts, directly to the subscribers.”

Sticking with the partnerships theme, Qtel also announced a commercial agreement with Skype, whereby its mobile broadband subsidiary wi-tribe, will promote Skype and its related products over wi-tribe’s networks in Jordan and the Philippines.

Under the agreement, wi-tribe will enable customers in the respective markets to easily download Skype software and connect with other users.

Marafih commented: “We recognise the changes taking place in the market and the increasing customer demand for rich communications solutions, and so have decided to partner with Skype – one of the pioneers in the industry. This is a first-of-its-kind in our Middle East region and we look forward to working closely with Skype to deliver the best possible customer experience.”

This is an interesting move in itself, given that VoIP is outlawed in many Middle Eastern markets. Something which has raised more than a few problems with operators considering the introduction of LTE as a voice technology.

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